Top critical review
OK BUT NOT HIS BEST
11 December 2018
JD is a master of the short story so this three star rating is for a JD novel; another author might have been awarded four or more stars for this but, of course, JD has set standards just for himself.
This is a very short story and, while OK, is far from a Deaver classic. The detective follows through the clues logically, if a bid of a plod. The 'reveal' at the end is set out as well as is the norm in a JD mystery, with all of the parts being assembled with Teutonic precision. Now, as a died-in-the-wool Deaver fan, I've read everything that he writes and, by now, I can spot (but only sometimes) the clues and red herrings. In this case, I had little difficulty in working out the 'answer' fairly early. The only thing that slowed me down was, ironically, another failing of this book in that, surprisingly, no motive for the initial 'crime' is ever provided; even suggesting that it was simply a 'prank' or a crime of opportunity would have helped but nothing is offered at all.
This is still a good read; it's a Deaver! But not his best work.